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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son in law whistle blew and the inquiry found his concerns

Customer Question

My son in law whistle blew and the inquiry found his concerns were correct. After Union action the suspended staff were given jobs back and the local authority closed his unit and made him redundant. They offered him a package with a gagging clause. He refused as he wanted to bring the cover up of serious safeguarding issues to public arena. The authority are saying that they can charge him for costs. Can they? Is there a precedent in England of an authority losing such a case?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
What costs are they trying to recover from him? Legal costs? Costs of the redundancy?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
They paid him the legal requirement and then in discussion around the sensitivity of the case they offered him a significant amount more along with a gagging order. He refused and wanted to take the case to a tribunal to highlight the injustices to vulnerable young people. At a meeting they told him that as his case was "unwinnable" they would be charging him for costs which they have now told him is in the region of £9000.
I wonder if there is a precedent in England where an Authority tried to do this and lost. If so on what grounds was the case lost.
I also wonder if there are precedents where a whistleblower was able to prove a significant link between their whistleblowing and their subsequent treatment by a Local Authority. The case is on a smaller scale than Rotherham but there seem to me to be parallels.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.
Who told him the case was unwinnable?
Does he have a costs order against him?
Are they demanding he pays £9k?
Kind regards
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The authority claim against my son in law was in terms of the Employment Tribunal Regulation 2013 rule 76 (1) (a) and (b). Their legal services refers to McPherson v BNP Paribas(2004) Civ 569 noting that the crucial question is whether the claimant has acted unreasonably in the conduct of the proceedings. My son in law believes that he did act responsibly but that to provide the information he was asked for could prejudice the outcome of professional conduct hearings which are imminent. The focus of these hearings is on both serious safeguarding issues and also on systematic falsifying of data. It is possible that these could lead to criminal charges. I am sorry that I am tardy with my reply. Thank you Donald XXX

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

As I will have to pay a fee tomorrow I had hoped that I would have had an answer today. Under the circumstances I will have to ask you to cancel. I am disappointed it took so long to respond to my question and accordingly I will close my account with immediate effect. Thank you. Donald XXX